IN accordance with classic precedent, this anthology ought to have consisted of "1001 Gems of German Thought." I have been content with half that number, not--heaven knows!--for any lack of material, but simply for lack of time and energy to make the ingathering. After all, enough is as good as a feast, and I think that the evidence as to the dominant characteristics of German mentality is tolerably complete as it stands.
Though I hope it is fairly representative, the collection does not pretend to be systematic. I have cast no sweeping drag-net, but have simply dipped almost at random into the wide ocean of German thought. Some of my most precious "finds" I have come upon by pure chance; and by pure chance, too, I have no doubt missed many others. Some books that I should have liked to examine have not been accessible to me; and there must be many of which I have never heard. On the other hand, the list of books from which my gems have been selected by no means indicates the extent of my reading--or skimming. I have gone through many books and pamphlets which furnished no quotable extracts, but none that diverged in tone from the rest, or marred the majestic unison of German self-laudation and contempt for the rest of the world. I have read of (but not seen) a book by one F. W. Förster which is said to contain a protest against theoretic war-worship, and even a mild defence of England. How very mild it is we may judge from this sentence: " England has given us not only men like Lord Grey, scoundrels and hypocrites, who have this war upon their conscience; it has also given us the Salvation Army," etc., etc.
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Publication information: Book title: 501 Gems of German Thought. Contributors: William Archer - Author. Publisher: T.F. Unwin Ltd.. Place of publication: London. Publication year: 1917. Page number: xv.
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